In what is being called a surprise amendment to a texting while driving ban, Mobile, Alabama Councilman John Williams has requested that, instead of just banning texting while driving, the new ordinance make it illegal to use any type of handheld electronic device for any reason.
In addition to widening the net of offenses, the amendment also increases the fine amount: going from a maximum fine of $75 to fines starting at $250 and raising to $350 and $500 for each subsequent offence.
In the UK, where Sell My Mobile is based, texting and talking on a cell phone while driving is already illegal except with a hands-free device – and even using hands free is questionable. But in Mobile, a place where people have been driving and chatting with phone in hand for years, the idea of limiting that ability is not going down well with everyone.
“Cell phones have been around for what, 20 years now?” says Councilman William Carroll. “And now you’re going tell them, after 20 years, they can’t hold a phone in their hand?”
In truth, statistics show that talking while driving – whether hands free or not – is dangerous. At least 30 studies show absolutely no difference between talking with phone in hand and talking hands free and there are a few out there that relate using a cell phone while driving to drinking and driving or driving under the influence of certain medications.